The Port of Oakland, Bay Area World Trade Center (BAWTC), and private partners (International Asset Systems, Sprint Nextel, Walsh Wireless, and Xora) announced a new technology-based solution for truck movement efficiency’an Advanced Transport Communications System that provides ‘first and last mile’ visibility of cargo containers as they are nearing the Port of Oakland, and as they are delivered to retailers and distribution centers around Northern California. This program is a precedent-setting use of technology at the Port and is one of a bundle of technology innovations as part of the overall Port of Oakland Truck Tracker program (PTT) for improving truck movement efficiency.

President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Anthony Batarse said, ‘We are pleased to be the first Port in the United States to use GPS technology in this new way. It will help both our business partners and the community.’

The technology utilizes GPS-enabled mobile phones from Sprint, tracking software from mobile workforce software provider Xora, and container-transaction processing from International Asset Systems (IAS). In test mode since 2006, in conjunction with this announcement, the PTT program is now operational, and the Port of Oakland and Bay Area World Trade Center are actively rolling it out to the shipping community using the Port’s services. Already in use by over 200 truckers and 2 major shippers and ocean carriers, PTT monitors truck movement by providing real-time tracking for more efficient cargo transport.

Port of Oakland’s Executive Director Omar Benjamin stated, ‘This new communications system in our Port of Oakland Truck Tracker program will help the flow of trucks near the port area. Taking this system live will result in fewer vehicle miles driven, less traffic congestion, and fewer emissions. That is beneficial to truckers, shippers and our neighboring communities.’

Port of Oakland Truck Tracker uses GPS technology that enables ocean carriers and shippers to accurately track the progress of trucks as they make their way toward their final delivery points. This allows for more efficient operations at distribution centers. ‘By enabling more efficient intermodal drayage moves, this initiative benefits ocean carriers and shippers alike,’ said Scott Smith, Director of Corporate Relations at APL. ‘With this new operational advantage, carriers and shippers have another good reason to send their container shipment traffic through the Port of Oakland.’

‘The Port of Oakland saw a need for a new way to track cargo through the drivers who are responsible for moving that cargo,’ said Elihu Harris, Chairman of the Bay Area World Trade Center. ‘I’m very pleased that the Bay Area World Trade Center helped create a solution by bringing together the trucking companies, government agencies, freight forwarders, labor, shippers, ocean carriers, and marine terminal operators. Together we have developed a precedent-setting method for using technology as a solution to this issue,’ added Harris.

The technology provides a simple way for truck drivers to enter container information which can be automatically imported into carriers’ and shippers’ tracking systems. Pressing just a single button on a Sprint phone, the truck driver confirms that the cargo has either been picked up or delivered. The Xora software installed on the phone interprets the data entry and transmits the information via satellite to the IAS Hub, a common operating platform for container shipping moves created by International Asset Systems (IAS). The IAS Hub automatically translates the data to the format used by the carrier’s or shipper’s supply-chain visibility system, and automatically imports it into the system. Carriers and shippers’ container-tracking staff can log onto their systems 24/7 and see the pickup and delivery data in real time.

“Many of our customers are demanding more real-time information about their deliveries,” said John Gurrad, of MOL. “With the capabilities provided by PTT, we can provide mor